Sweden: An Idol Of The Welfare State FallsSubmitted by McWilly on Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:54
I wanted to post about this last week, but seeing as the riots in Stockholm are still raging and the car (and school) fires still burning, it would seem that I haven’t missed my chance. For those not up to date on what’s happening in Sweden, riots have broken out over the past few days primarily among the immigrant population. Sweden has a notorious “open” immigration policy, and provides some of the world’s most generous benefits for those moving into the country, including cheap housing and benefits. However, it would seem that despite the ample handouts from the Swedish government (3rd largest welfare state in the OECD), it’s just not enough for these entitled folks. Despite what the liberals may sew into their dinner place settings, a welfare state does not inspire gratitude into the recipients.
There are three main causes that have been put forth as the cause of the riots: the disparity in wealth between the upper class and the lower class, high unemployment, and the “cutting” in social spending, which leftists claim has caused these issues. The last, naturally, is not the problem and is, in fact, a large part of what has caused the first two. Swedish writer and pro-immigration think tank member FREDRIK SEGERFELDT pretty much nails the libertarian argument in an essay for the Wall Street Journal:
Sweden retains the No. 1 spot in at least one OECD ranking—the largest employment gap between natives and foreign-born residents. Immigrants to Sweden, on average, have about 82% the employment rate as those born in the country. In the U.K., for example, the figure is 95%.
The immigrants are not to blame. Rather, the main culprit has been Sweden’s inability to adapt to its new residents, like so many other European countries. The biggest hindrance to assimilating foreigners has ironically been Sweden’s dogged attempts to maintain absolute economic equality, and at very high rates. By sector-wide union agreements, the country has higher de-facto minimum wages than most of its peers, and so boasts fewer low-wage entry-level jobs than any other EU member.